NFC Championship Game: Patience Pays Off For Giants, 49ers

When the New York Giants and San Franciso 49ers face off in the 2012 NFC Championship game, they'll both be there thanks to something that's in short supply these days in professional sports.

Patience.

Most NFL franchises probably would have fired Tom Coughlin by now. Despite winning the Super Bowl in 2007, that win has been bookended by some rough stretches during his tenure. Mind you, rarely have the Giants been terrible during his time, but they've just been off enough for the New York media and fandom to vocalize a disdain for Coughlin. He and the Giants weathered the storms and now sit within one game of their second Super Bowl together.

Most NFL franchises probably would have gotten rid of Alex Smith by now. The seventh-year QB earned the bust label about as much as any QB before him. The first-rounder was the face of San Francisco's worst era in decades and seemed set to leave town before this season. New coach Jim Harbaugh stuck with the "bust" and turned him into the quarterback of an NFC West division champion and host of the NFC Championship.

That patience both team have shown will pay off even more for one of the teams come Sunday.

For updates and analysis on these teams leading up to their matchup, visit 49ers blog Niners Nation, Giants blog Big Blue View and SB Nation New York and SB Nation Bay Area. Don't forget to check out SB Nation's NFL hub for all your playoff news.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.